Growing Your Organization with Performance Management

Good performance management systems assist supervisors and employees in establishing performance goals, sharing information on a regular basis and discussing learning and development requirements for continuous improvement.

The main objectives of any system should be to:

  • create a high-performance organization
  • establish a clear link between organizational and individual objectives
  • encourage ongoing communication through regular feedback and discussion
  • support learning and development to build competencies and improve performance
  • provide recognition and manage performance

There are a number of best practices associated with performance management systems. The development of the system should focus on the following key considerations that are common to efficient and effective systems.

Consistency: The performance management system and process of evaluation must be laid out clearly and communicated effectively. It must be easy to use, easy to understand and be consistently applicable so that employees trust that they get objective, systematic and consistent evaluations.

User Friendly: The performance management system needs to be as efficient and as simple as possible. Adequate time and budget resources must be allocated throughout the year to ensure that performance management is a part of regular cycle of work not an unwanted addition to the workload.

Training: Both supervisors and employees must be adequately trained on how to use the performance management system and where to find help if they don’t understand steps in the process or how to

apply tools and templates.

Rating Criteria: The criteria or performance standards against which employee performance is to be measured must be documented, clearly described, and shared with all employees. This way the system will be perceived as fair and transparent.

Measuring Job Performance: Accurate and up to date job descriptions are an important component. Performance measures should be developed based on the most important skills, behaviours and results of the job.

Self-Assessment: Employees want to be involved in the management of their own performance and in rating their own performance. They want to be consulted in formulating performance objectives and measures of their performance.

Appropriate Feedback: Providing ongoing, immediate, constructive and specific feedback produces the best results in terms of employee response and motivation toward improvement. It is important for employees to know what is expected of them, what is going well and how to improve performance. Ongoing feedback prevents unwanted surprises during annual performance reviews.

Annual Review Feedback Discussions: Annual performance review feedback discussions need to be handled with tact, so it is important to provide effective, constructive feedback. A system that includes employee self-assessment and training of supervisors on how to give effective feedback are ways to ensure productive performance discussions.

System Outcomes: The performance management system needs to be linked to organizational goals and objectives. Outcomes from the performance review and feedback process must be as valuable to both the employee and the organization. The performance management process is valuable because it provides recognition, training and development opportunities or other incentives that are clearly linked to organizational goals and results.

Newsletter Issue:
HR Microscope September 2014